I see that look all of the time. At restaurants. At bars. Even at food carts. That look on the face of a restaurant employee when a customer dares to walk in to the place to get something to eat.
Can we all just take a moment and remind ourselves of the business we have chosen? We would not even exist if it were not for the customer. Let’s remember that.
I’ve told many a tale of my dear old dad, my darling daughter, or my sweet wife, and what happens sometimes when they walk in to a place. Sometimes it is good, but often it is not.
You’ve seen it. The glance up. The disappointment on the face of the employee. The look back down. Not exactly welcoming. I’m not just talking about the waiters, either. It could be the bartender, the line cook, yes, even the manager.
Help me out here…
We customers really aren’t expecting much when we go out. Some decent food, maybe. Perhaps a little civility. But when you are feeling like you are just a burden, it is kind of hard to have a good time.
I don’t like to be on the defensive all of the time when I go out, and yet, I find that often, I am. It doesn’t matter if it is right when they open, when they are about to close, or any time in-between. I can still get that look. Maybe it is just me (that is quite possible, I’m afraid I am getting a bit of a reputation around here, and I am not sure if that reputation is limited to Portland).
I have written before about how to be a good customer:
Well, it works the same for the restaurant employee. At least it should. In fact, more so. Times ten.
According to Wikipedia (not that we can trust that source):
Hospitality is the relationship between the guest and the host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. This includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
Remember that? It’s what we do.
So, I say, try to find that smile again. Try to remember why you got in to this business in the first place. Try to remember that you did it because you like people!